Yoga is fast becoming an integral part of 21st century life and science is now starting to believe in the health benefits that yoga has to offer. If you’ve been practicing yoga for some time you’ll have noticed some great benefits for the body and mind such as muscle strength and improvements to your flexibility, but here’s a few more that you might not have known about from our review of recent publications. See what you think?
Prevent cartilage and joint breakdown – every time that you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion and this can help prevent degenerative arthritis.
Increase blood flow – the relaxation exercises that you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga gets more oxygen to your cells which can function better as a result.
Drain your lymphs and boost your immunity – when you are contracting and stretching your muscles and move in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymph (a viscous fluid rich in immune cells). This helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells and dispose of toxic waste products.
Lower your blood sugar levels – yoga can lower both blood sugar and bad cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels and encouraging weight loss. When your blood sugar levels are down you decrease the risk of diabetic complications.
Release tension in your limbs – Unconscious habits such as scrunching your face up when you stare at your computer screen or allow tension to settle in your shoulders can lead to chronic tension, muscle fatigue and soreness in arms, face shoulders etc. Through yoga you can tune in to where this tension is held and you can slowly begin to release the tension.
Prevent IBS and other digestive problems – Yoga, like any physical exercise can ease constipation because moving the body facilitates more rapid transport of food and waste products through the bowels.
Encourage self care – In a lot of conventional medicine, patients are passive recipients of care. In yoga, it’s all about what you do for yourself that really matters. Yoga can give you the tools to change and you notice the more that you commit to practice, the more you benefit.